Vaginal yeast infection

Causes, Symptoms and Prevention

Yeast, a type of fungus is present in our vaginas. If the number of yeast cells start to grow, they cause a vaginal yeast infection. Women may feel itchy in their vagina; feel burning sensation when urinate or have intercourse, the skin at the opening of your vagina becomes red and irritated. Most women also have a whitish, odorless vaginal discharge; similar to cottage cheese. A vaginal yeast infection may be a cause of great irritation but the good news is that it is not serious and can be treated quite easily.

If you have never had these symptoms before it is best to go see a doctor first, to make sure that it is a vaginal yeast infection and not some STD or a bacterial infection. Most of the yeast infections are caused by a type of yeast called Candida. The imbalance in presence of Candida can be due to hormonal changes, taking antibiotics, being pregnant, diabetes and HIV infections. If you are not pregnant or do not have any other medical condition yeast infections can be easily treated by using antifungal ointments or vaginal suppositories. Most women may see the symptoms appear just before their menstrual periods are about to start.

 In most cases the vaginal yeast infection clears out on its own. When you are using any anti fungal cream or ointment, try switching to sanitary pads instead of using tampons, as the tampons will dry any ointment that you have applied. If your symptoms don’t clear up after ten to fifteen days, consult your gynecologist again. He/ she may than prescribe antifungal tablets. If you get a vaginal infection, you may already be feeling slight discomfort in having sex. If you are using antifungal ointments, using birth control such as condoms or diaphragms is not such a good idea. The oils in the antifungal ointments may break the latex, meaning you are no longer protected from unwanted pregnancy or STDs. Although vaginal yeast infections are not sexually transmitted, but there are chances that your partner can catch it. So it is better to avoid sex for a few days.

Vaginal infections are easy to prevent. You need to ensure that you don’t wear wet clothes, and dry yourself thoroughly after a shower. Candida grows in moist areas, so by not drying yourself you are giving an invitation to Candida growth. You should avoid all manmade materials and stick to cotton underwear. If you can, then try to sleep without wearing panties; but if you absolutely can’t sleep without underwear then switch to cotton shorts or girl boxers. Avoid tight fitted pants, jeans and exercise wear. Make sure you change immediately after working out or any other activity which makes you sweat. Some women may also get itchy by wearing nylon pantyhose. This itchiness could just be the start of a vaginal yeast infection. If so, avoid wearing them.

Remember, these infections are actually more common then you know and there is no need to be embarrassed. So if you see any signs go see your doctor before the Candida growth gets out of hands.

>>> Vaginal yeast infection treatment

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